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Sensex, Nifty opens on volatile note amid global selloff

Mumbai, Feb 25 : Market benchmarks Sensex and Nifty opened on a volatile note on Monday tracking tepid cues from global markets amid concerns over the impact of coronavirus epidemic on world economy.

After opening over 150 points higher, the 30-share index pared all gains, trading 34.62 points, or 0.09 per cent, lower at 40,328.61.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading down by 17.15 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 11,812.25.

HCL Tech was the top loser in the Sensex pack, followed by Sun Pharma, Titan, Tech Mahindra and Bajaj Auto.

On the other hand, NTPC, ONGC, HUL, Asian Paints and Tata Steel were trading with gains.

In the previous session, the Sensex settled at 40,363.23, dropping 806.89 points or 1.96 per cent -- the second biggest one-day fall in 2020, while the broader NSE Nifty sank 251.45 points or 2.08 per cent to 11,829.40.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors (FPIs) sold equities worth Rs 1,160.90 crore, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 516.21 crore on Monday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

According to traders, global equity markets were still unnerved by the spread of coronavirus to countries beyond China.

Stock exchanges in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo were trading with heavy losses, while bourses in Seoul turned positive after Monday's selloff.

Brent crude oil futures rose 0.18 per cent to USD 55.87 per barrel.

The rupee appreciated 10 paise to 71.85 against the US dollar in morning session.

"The growing risk aversion is clearly visible in the sudden spike in safe heaven asset like gold prices seen lately and the surge in volatility index," said Gaurav Dua, Sr VP, Head - Capital Market Strategy & Investments, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.

In addition to global uncertainties, he said the expiry weak and the fiscal year end pressure only adds to the volatility in the near term.

Traders said market participants eyeing cues from US President Donald Trump's two-day visit to India, which will end later in the day.

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